The Tapeworm Incident

Entry 212

I can see that this is going to be anything but an ordinary day. It started off this morning with Snack Dispenser staring for an uncomfortably long time into my litter box. Instead of just changing the litter like usual she seemed to be studying it. Why she does some of the things she does I can’t even begin to guess. Now she has found me on the back of my favorite chair and has my tail lifted up. She is giving my bum the same scrutiny she just gave my litter box. Careful there Snacky; I do love you but too much unwanted attention to that area of my body can bring out my dark side. She’s got that dismayed look that usually precedes the appearance of the pet carrier for another trek to see Dr. K at the vet hospital.

Entry 213

Dr. K is pretty fast when it comes to checking my nether regions. She knows that exams of that kind can be quite upsetting to me and my kind. Here’s what I learned from listening to their conversation: I have tapeworms. These are flat segmented worms that have set up shop in my intestinal tract. What Snack Dispenser and Dr. K have seen are white rice-sized worm segments stuck to the hair around my bum and to the stool in my litter box. Apparently cats get them by swallowing an infected flea or by eating an infected mouse. Snack Dispenser has a paranoia about fleas and has me on a really good monthly preventive. I never find a flea on me when I’m grooming. That just leaves eating mice.

Okay, its coming back to me now little by little… Ever since our neighbour’s new stray cat Boris appeared I’ve been finding the occasional dead thing in our back yard. He’s getting a reputation on our street as a born hunter. I guess he needed to be to survive all that time alone as a stray. Anyways, about a month ago I saw him playing with something out back. By the time I got out of the house he was gone but he’d left behind a freshly killed mouse. Now ordinarily I don’t pay much attention to that sort of thing. After all, Snack Dispenser puts great stuff in my food bowl and I don’t miss many meals. Some might say I’m rounding up a bit in the middle but I think of myself as big-boned and adequately insulated against our unpredictable Canadian cold snaps. This particular day, however, I was kind of feeling the call of the wild. If you pressed me I’ll admit that I crunched a little bit on that mouse, and I guess it’s true that I swallowed a few small chunks.

Snack Dispenser still has this bewildered look on her face. Why so surprised ? It’s what I do. You want a grass eater? Get a bunny. I can’t help it – I like meat. Sitting on top of the food chain and liking the view from up here!

Entry 218

​It seems that because of this one little lapse in judgement, I now can’t be trusted. Dr. K has given Snack Dispenser a routine deworming program for me. I’m to get a tablet a number of times during the spring, summer and fall months. Lucky me – what do you want to bet that Boris never gets a worm? Oh well, I guess that I can put up with a few pills now and again – just don’t expect me to make it too easy.